Staph Toxins in Psoriasis, Atopic Dermatitis,
Title: Staphylococcal toxins in patients with
psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and erythroderma, and in healthy
Authors: Tomi NS
Publication: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jul;53(1):67-72.
The authors wanted to evaluate whether infection by Staphylococcus
aureus (S. aureus) bacteria is involved in the skin and nostrils
of patients with:
- atopic dermatitis
- erythroderma (redness of the skin)
- skin infections
- and in healthy control subjects.
To do this, they conducted a staphylococcal enterotoxin test-reversed
passive latex agglutination (SET-RPLAR) test to determine the
presence of Staphylococcal enterotoxins A, B, C, and D.
The authors found Staphylococcus aureus in 22 out of 25 patients
with atopic dermatitis and 15 out of 25 patients with psoriasis.
The severity of the diseases (quantified by dermatological indexes)
correlated significantly with the toxigenic strain (S. aureus
that can secrete enterotoxins) in both cases.
The authors also found that all patients with erythroderma had
S. aureus bacteria, mostly in their skin whereas only 12% of healthy
subjects have toxin-negative S. aureus on their skin.
In atopic dermatitis, sepsis, and skin infections, enterotoxin
C was most often detected, whereas in psoriasis it was toxin B
that was most often detected.
The authors concluded that Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were
present in more than 50% of patients with atopic dermatitis and
psoriasis, and that the severity of the diseases correlated significantly
with the enterotoxin production of the isolated bacteria strains.
However, due to limitations in their experiments, other enterotoxins
such as toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, which may play a role, were
Editor’s Note: sepsis is the presence of disease-causing
microbes in the blood or tissues. An enterotoxin is a toxin producted
by bacteria that attacks the mucous membranes of the intestine
and can cause vomiting and diarrhea associated with food poisoning.